[Bf-committers] [Patch] Add support for using (dynamically) system-wide FTGL libraries.

Joe Eagar joeedh at gmail.com
Mon May 12 00:17:35 CEST 2008

You make some very good points.  However, I have to disagree that our 
FTGL is pathologically buggy.  As far as I know, there's only 1 bug with 
textured fonts (a small visual artifact).  The problem with shared 
libraries is that we have to trust someone else (and every single 
distributor) to not break the code.  That's a lot of people to rely on.

On the other hand, it sounds like FTGL might be in the same stable 
category as, say, zlib, or libpng, so perhaps shared library linking 
wouldn't be too risky.


Sam Hocevar wrote:
> On Sat, May 10, 2008, Joe Eagar wrote:
>>> So that bugs fixed in the shared library benefit to everyone using it,
>>> without having to recompile every application (be it using an embedded
>>> code copy, or by linking a static library).
>>> In particular, security bugs come to mind, which is why people working
>>> for a given distribution try to avoid using such embedded code copies,
>>> so as to make the job of their security team easier, as well as
>>> improving the overall quality.
>> Sadly, this mentality doesn't really work well on linux. The problem
>> is some open-source developers tend to break APIs at will.
>    You could also assume that there are people out there who know what
> they are doing and are committed to preserving APIs and not breaking
> ABIs in production libraries.
>    Speaking of mentality in the Linux world, allow me to point out the
> following:
>   * None of the changes made to /blender/extern/bFTGL/ were ever
>   submitted to the upstream issue tracker nor in any other way known to
>   me. I found about them through Google Code Search.
>   * No Blender developer ever bothered to ask what the FTGL release
>   plans and/or API stabilisation strategy were.
>   * Blender's embedded version of FTGL is lagging some 250 commits
>   behind, which, given the number of bug fixes amongst them, indicates
>   severe lack of interest or energy in fixing issues in that part of
>   your code.
>> Also, there's no */guarantee/* that every distro will always have the
>> latest version.
>    So what? It is trivially easy for a distribution to upgrade to a new
> version of the library when there is a new release, and this is what
> they do. Whereas rebuilding every single package that statically links
> with the library, including Blender? No sane distribution does that, and
> the ones who do probably hate your guts.
>    The only guarantee you have right now is that all versions of Blender
> ship with pathologically buggy versions of FTGL.
>> Shared librarys in general, imho, are dangerous to use and careful
>> thought should be put into whether or not you should use them.
>    I'm afraid that given how the facts speak against what you preach,
> you only sound like you had a few annoying experiences with shared
> libraries or their developers in the past and are overgeneralising as a
> consequence.
> Best regards,

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